Death of a Salesman Lesson Plan

Check out the very first half of Act I (up to page 41 in the Penguin edition), to the point after Young Linda and Young Bernard exit, but before Delighted returns and discovers Willy standing in the kitchen area.

Common Core Objectives

  1. 1

    Intro to reading remarkable literature: finding out how to picture a play’s efficiency and to appreciate the script as the means to an end, not completion item itself. Remember that an act is indicated to form a system and that checking out half an act (specifically when there are no separations of scenes) may develop a synthetic break that might alter one’s appreciation of the text.

  2. 2

    Intro to checking out well: discovering how to end up being acquainted with a new work of literature by analyzing characters, tone, and setting; discovering early styles; valuing the accomplishment of excellent writing.

  3. 3

    Intro to believing well: utilizing the discussion concerns to do more than just checked out.

  4. 4

    Introduction to speaking well: developing oral abilities through vocabulary advancement and conversation of idea questions.

Keep in mind that it is completely fine to expand any day’s work into 2 days
depending on the attributes of the class, particularly if the
class will participate in all of the recommended classroom workouts and
activities and go over all of the idea questions.

Material Summary for Educators

Act I (very first half)

The salesperson, Willy Loman, enters his house. Linda, his better half, concerns that he smashed the vehicle, and he declares that he is tired to death and could not make it through the rest of his trip. He kept swerving onto the shoulder of the road. Linda states he ought to operate in New York, but Willy says he’s not required there.

Linda informs him that Pleased took Biff (these are their 2 children) on a double date, which it was nice to see them shaving together. Willy calls Biff a lazy bottom and says that he is lost, however Linda states that Biff admires his dad.

Upstairs in their bunkbeds, Biff and Delighted discuss their dad. Biff wonders why his dad mocks him so much, but Happy says that their father simply desires Biff to make great. Delighted worries that Willy speak with himself. Biff recollects about herding cattle out west, however he is ashamed that he has not done more significant work at his age. Biff thinks of working for Costs Oliver, whom he worked for earlier in life, however he frets that Bill will bear in mind that he as soon as took a carton of basketballs.

Downstairs, Willy is reliving a scene from the past: the young Biff informs Willy that he missed Willy when Willy was away on service. Willy states that Charley resembles, however not well liked. Bernard gets in, anxious because Biff has a state examination the following week and is stopping working mathematics. Even if Biff has actually been accepted to the University of Virginia does not indicate the high school has to finish him.

Willy informs Bernard to bug off. Biff states that Bernard is likewise “liked, however not well liked.” Willy states that individuals like Biff and Pleased will be five times ahead of Bernard in the real life. Linda gets in, and she and Willy discuss Willy’s business difficulties. Willy frets that others make fun of him, but Linda reassures him.

Willy crosses to another part of the phase– another flashback– where a woman is dressing. Willy tells her that he will be back in about two weeks which he will see her the next time he remains in Boston.

Willy is now back in the kitchen with Linda, who reassures him, but he scolds Linda for fixing her stockings. Back outdoors (in the past), he tells Bernard to give Biff the answers to the examination, however it is a state examination, and he might be detained. Willy calls for Biff. He likewise hears the lady’s voice (from the flashback of the hotel) and screams for it to shut up.

Willy takes off at Linda, stating that there’s absolutely nothing the matter with Biff. He asks her if she desires Biff to be a worm like Bernard. Linda, practically in tears, exits into the living room.

Idea Questions (trainees consider while they check out)

(5-10 minutes.)

How does Miller utilize the opening series of the play to demonstrate the primary character relationships and conflicts? Who will be Willy’s primary foil?

(5-10 min.)

Biff and Happy might function as a system in some methods, but in other ways they are different. How do they differ? Who is successful? Who mores than happy?

(5 minutes.)

Explain Biff’s and Pleased’s mindset towards their mom and toward other women.

(5-10 minutes.)

What do we discover Willy’s character from the brief scene in the past with the woman in the hotel room? What makes its placement in the surrounding scene ironic?

(5 minutes.)

Describe the friendship in between young Biff and young Bernard. How does Willy feed into it? Which character traits bring success?

Vocabulary (in order of look)



harsh, pointy



something carried, typically heavy or uncomfortable; load


unpredictable; frequently changing in unforeseeable ways; irregular


knocking or blowing around; disturbed (adj.)


worry; wariness



dejected or deeply dissuaded



a memory, frequently with a plot



to polish to a great shine, such as with wax (the word comes from a trademarked auto polish invented by a male surnamed Simon)



small and weak



enchanted; enraptured; caught up by


hoity-toity and extravagant (full of pomp)



a soft leather


approval, typically strong


almost pertaining to exist or appear



literally or figuratively weak; without much power or energy



a very attractive boy, like the good-looking Greek figure from mythology



abating; becoming less disruptive


to dress or groom oneself thoroughly (perhaps excessive) in order to look as great as one can



disorder or interruption; unrest and ado


likely (in the legal sense– not in the context of the play– liability is responsibility)


overseers of an education system; here, it refers to the main tests in New York State (overseen ultimately by the Regents) that one need to pass in order to graduate from high school

Extra Homework

  1. 1

    Today most sales are not made by traveling salesmen, although some items are still taken door-to-door or business-to-business. (Think About Will Smith’s character in The Pursuit of Happyness.) Your parents or grandparents probably have experience with salespersons concerning their door. Ask older relatives if they remember traveling salesmans and what the experiences with them resembled.

  2. 2

    Willy invests the majority of his work week on the roadway, taking a trip from city to city. How did taking a trip salesmen operate prior to the widespread adoption of the auto? How does the automobile change the potential customers for individual salespersons?

    How far is Boston from New York? The length of time would it take to get there by vehicle at 50 miles per hour? Make certain you can find both cities on a U.S. map.

  3. 3

    Ideas for a take-home essay and later on class conversation:

    Exist people in your school like Biff? Exist people like Bernard? Do Biff and Bernard fit the stereotypes you have today concerning “jocks” and “nerds”? Do the stereotypes work– are most athletes similar in important ways, and are most trainees who study hard similar in essential ways– or do they actually show a lot more range? Why do you think these “high school archetypes” keep appearing in plays and films?

    If you can identify particular characteristics that opt for the stereotypes, do you know adults who still have the same qualities? Do all individuals from the exact same group end up the same? Does it appear true to you in real life that those who study difficult are frequently more effective? What makes an adult not similar to however “well-liked”– aren’t there a lot of different manner ins which individuals prosper?

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